A message from the SFHS Board of Directors
Dear Members of the St. Francis High School Community,
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas season and enjoyed special time with family and friends. The holiday break provides all of us with the time to reflect on the wonders of our faith and to grow closer to our Lord.
One of the most important duties of the Board of Directors is to appoint and assess the President of the school. Over the past five months, the Board oversaw an extensive search process for the new President. We are extremely grateful to the members of the Presidential Search Committee who interviewed numerous candidates and provided recommendations to the Board. We are also grateful to many school stakeholders (i.e., administrators, faculty, staff, at-large Board committee members, and leaders in the Alumni Association, Mothers’ Club, and Fathers’ Club) who were involved in the on-site interviews of candidates. Building upon all of this work, the Board and its committees continued the interview process in November and December and met numerous times to determine the right leadership plan to serve our beloved school for many years to come.
We have exciting news to share with you regarding the new leadership of St. Francis High School. We are thrilled to announce both the new President of our school, Philip Kerr, and the new Executive Vice President of our school, Maureen Isphording, effective today.
The synergy created by Phil’s 40-year history with the school, his incredible business acumen, and his mentoring skills combined with Maureen’s marketing and communications expertise, relationships with current families, and love for the school will provide a strong foundation for the future and long-term success of St. Francis High School. Many of you may be familiar with Maureen as our Director of Admissions, and she will continue her strong leadership in this role while also serving as Executive Vice President. By creating the new position of Executive Vice President, we will establish a collaborative mentorship between the new President and the Executive Vice President. Their partnership combined with the guidance of Raeann Huhn, our Principal, will ensure the furtherance of the school’s mission for future generations of Spartans.
Phil and Maureen are looking forward to working as a team to guide the school in its next chapter of excellence. Phil shared these comments with the Board: “I am very humbled, honored, and excited to join the St. Francis High School leadership team. It is an incredible responsibility to carry on the school’s 65-year legacy promoting the spiritual, academic, physical, and social development of the students entrusted to our care. Our patron Saint Francis of Assisi said, ‘Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received -- only what you have given.’ It is incumbent on our team to give Spartans for generations to come the latest state-of-the-art facilities, technologies, and infrastructure necessary to remain at the forefront of educational excellence. The charge for Maureen and me is clear: Mobilize the support of the entire St. Francis High School community past, present, and future to provide the best environment, facilities, and atmosphere for our students and faculty to succeed and thrive. That means thanking our current benefactors, partnering with our Alumni from 1961 to 2022, re-engaging with those with whom we have lost touch, and mending any relationships where we may have fallen short. Maureen and I look forward to meeting with you all soon to discuss our vision and see how we can work together to give to our current and future students. Here is to a Happy and Healthy and Holy New Year.”
Maureen also expressed her excitement on her new role at the school with these words: “I am humbled and thrilled to serve St. Francis High School as Executive Vice President & Director of Admissions. Thank you to the Board of Directors for the trust and confidence in inviting me to serve the school in this expanded role. I look forward to partnering with the Board, colleagues, students, families, alumni, and friends to appreciate and honor St. Francis High School’s history and current work, while intentionally and tirelessly ensuring the school’s success for decades to come.”
About Phil Kerr, President: As a member of the St. Francis High School Board of Directors for seven years and chairman of the Board from 2010 to 2013, Phil has guided the school during a period of record enrollment and a successful capital campaign. Phil and his wife, Maribeth Treis ’77 Kerr, have four children, three of whom are St. Francis High School alums.
Phil has over 40 years of experience in business management and sales. He attended Illinois State University earning a wrestling scholarship and served as the co-captain of the wrestling team. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Phil began his 40-plus year career in the home medical equipment services industry with Foster Medical and quickly became the top sales representative for the company. He served as the youngest Regional Vice President at Foster Medical before founding his own home medical equipment company, Stat Home Care, Inc. He sold his company to Gateway Home Care and later served as President/CEO of Gateway. In 2006, Phil started a new home medical equipment services firm, Home Medical Express, Inc., and served as the company’s President/CEO/CFO. Over 14 years, the firm grew to $32 million in revenue and 124 employees. In 2018, the company was sold to Adapt Health, and Phil later accepted a position there as Regional Vice President of Sales where he coached sales associates in service offerings, professional selling skills, and strategic planning. In addition to his professional activities, Phil has been an active committee member and Board member at Medinah Country Club for eight years and a basketball coach at St. Michael Parish School for over 20 years.
With his experience in sales, personnel management, financial analysis, and leadership training, Phil is perfectly poised to lead St. Francis High School as it continues to implement its strategic plan and upcoming capital campaign. Phil is a passionate leader who will strengthen the school’s mission to promote students’ spiritual, academic, physical, and social development in the daily presence of Jesus Christ. Phil is known by many as an “honorary alum” through his work on the Board and his family’s long history with the school.
About Maureen Isphording, Executive Vice President & Director of Admissions: Maureen has cultivated relationships with parents, students, and neighboring schools for seven years as the school’s Director of Admissions. She has implemented annual comprehensive recruiting plans, spearheaded major admissions events, and served in leadership as a member of the school’s President’s Council. She also has grown the Student Ambassador Leadership Team (SALT) to over 130 students to teach leadership skills to our students and to increase the awareness and visibility of the school in the community. Her innovative virtual shadow day program garnered the attention of other schools across the nation when they wanted to adopt a similar recruitment program during the pandemic. She is a proven innovator with boundless energy and enthusiasm.
Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in communication from Purdue University, Maureen served as a client services manager with Corbett Healthcare Group. She received the “Passion and Drive” performance award for earning new business as a manager with the company. Following her work at Corbett, Maureen earned a master’s degree in teaching from National Louis University and taught as a secondary social studies teacher for a decade before coming to St. Francis High School as its Director of Admissions. In addition to her admissions work, Maureen’s background in communication and marketing served her well as she managed the communications work at St. Francis High School from 2020 to 2021. Outside of her dedication to our school, Maureen is involved in the activities of her three children with her husband, Dave. She especially enjoys coaching basketball at St. Michael Parish School.
As revealed by the above biographies, the unique talents possessed by both Phil and Maureen combined with their enthusiasm and love for the school will produce a winning combination that will propel the school in advancing its mission and positively impacting the lives of many future Spartans. We thank the entire St. Francis High School community for its support and guidance during the presidential search process. We also owe a special thanks to Raeann who has willingly served as both Principal and Acting President during the search process. Her steadfast dedication and service to our school reveal the attributes of our patron saint. Please keep our school’s leaders in your prayers as they guide and promote our special school.
With deep gratitude and in the spirit of St. Francis,
The St. Francis High School Board of Directors